18 Essential Apps for the Apple Watch

By Tom Pritchard on at


The Apple Watch is here! Bringing Apple's own take on the smartwatch experience for iOS users across the world. But just like every other smart device on the planet it needs a healthy selection of apps to give it a real purpose and make it more than just an expensive wrist accessory. It's still very early days yet, but the Apple Watch already has a number of apps on the way. Here are the ones you should know about:

Apple Watch App: If there's anything on this list that absolutely deserves the 'essential' moniker it's this one. Just like Android Wear and Pebble before it, the Apple Watch relies on a companion app to make sure it achieves its full potential. From this app you'll be able to update and download apps, connect to your Apple Watch, set up the security features, customise the home screen, set up notifications to beam across, and more.

Life Clock: Remember those corny websites that claimed to know when you're going to die? This is a bit like that, except it's basing its estimates on actual data rather than pulling a random date out of nowhere. Life Clock bases its estimate on data pulled directly from Health Kit, adding time to your life span for healthy activities and removing it for the bad ones. I doubt it's going to be 100 per cent accurate, though, so no going mental at your boss's funeral OK?

Dexcom Glucose Monitor: Apple are placing a lot of emphasis on the Apple Watch being a tool to aid your day-to-day health, but there's a lot it can't do. Dexcom have an app on the way for diabetics, that will connect their Apple Watch to a sensor under their skin and continually monitor their glucose levels throughout the day. That sounds like an invaluable tool to me. We don't have an exact release date yet, but it's supposed to be arriving next month.

Philips Hue: The connected home vets are currently developing an app for launch to extend functionality to its smart lighting range. We've always though the smart crown on the Watch would make a perfect light dimmer and our dreams are to be realised.

Shazam: This one goes firmly into the category of unconfirmed right now, but it's pretty much a given considering CEO Rich Riley's comments at MWC. Shazam is coming to the Apple Watch, letting you tag music and read through the lyrics without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. Cheating on the pub quiz music round just got a lot easier.

Google Maps: It's already integrated with Android Wear, so it makes total sense that Google is bringing its mapping service to the Apple Watch. Now iOS users will be able to use everyone's favourite digital mapping service to work out where you're going without having your phone in your hand like a gormless prat. Just another reason to ignore the fact that Apple Maps even exists.

Facebook: Zuck and co have been working hard to try and make Facbook dominate every single platform possible, so it's hardly a surprise that the ever popular social network is coming to the Apple Watch. What its going to include isn't clear, but you can be sure they're working hard to make sure that the universally despised Messenger will be on there in some form.

Twitter: Twitter is one of those things that's definitely more useful when you're out and about in the real world. Whether it's being able to view your feed on a nice smaller display, or simply being able to see your notifications as and when they arrive, you can be sure that the wearable version is going to try and enhance that.

BMW i3 Remote: The official word is that the BMW app will be able to tell you where you parked your car so you don't have to keep the lock button on your keys like crazy person. Expect there to be a lot crazier features on the way, especially given that the company has worked out a way to let people drive a car with their watch. Don't be alarmed if this is the app Tim Cook was talking about when he boasted about the Apple Watch replacing your keys.

Twitter on Samsung GALAXY S4 and Note 8.0

Instagram: You want to keep up with the latest celebrities posting pictures of their lunches on Instagram, but you don't want the hassle of pulling your phone out every single time. Why not stick it on your wrist instead? The Instagram Apple Watch app will let you view a mini slideshow of the pictures in your feed, so you get to see what's going on without having to pull out your phone all the time.

Todoist: We all have our daily schedule of what we need to get done and when, and while the smartphone helped to kill off the Filofax Todoist wants to migrate that feature to your wrist. Just open up the app and you get to see what you have to do all day in one easy to find place.

Uber: Another phone app migrated onto your wrist, you will be able to request an Uber ride from your wrist. You'll also be able to see the details, and registration plates, of your driver ahead of time, so you know exactly which car to get into.

Passbook: Apple announced on stage that Passbook will be coming to the Apple Watch, with the express purpose of getting you through airport security.Your boarding pass will appear on screen, and all you have to do is wave your watch over a scanner to get through security.

W Hotels: Rather than having to queue up at the front desk to check in and receive your room key, W Hotels' new Apple Watch app will let you bypass all that and use your watch as the room key. That makes getting into your room slightly easier, until you run out of battery that is.

Citymapper: The ultimate app in keeping up to date with when the next bus and train is due to arrive, Citymapper will be bringing it's services to the Apple Watch. That means you don't have to go flicking through your phone to figure out when the next bus is coming.

ESPN: Sports are a big deal, so if you need to keep track of all your favourite sports teams you don't want to be checking your phone every few minutes. ESPN will beam the notifications you want straight over to your Apple Watch, so you know what's happening when it happens.

Launch Center Pro: The quick dial for the iPhone and iPad is coming to the Apple Watch, meaning it'll take you no time at all to open up all your favourite apps on your wrist.

Nike+: If you don't want to use Apple's built-in sensors to monitor your exercise activity, you will be able to install Nike+ onto your Apple Watch and use that to keep track of things. Presumably that'll also include the option to convert your workout into Nike Fuel.